I’m a list-maker from way back. They’re not organized lists by any means. Sometimes they’re not even written down. But I make ’em, and–unless I’m mired in the quicksand of depression–I follow ’em. Crossing an item off the list is a wonderful feeling; throwing away a list because everything is done is even better. I have several writing lists, and the best way to tell you about them is to … make a list of my to-do lists.
Maybe I have a problem.
In no particular order:
1. Things to fix in the WIP. This is an evolving list as I get more crits from people. Add this, change this, make X happen, make Y not happen. That sort of thing. For the most part I keep this one in my head–my theory is if I don’t remember something I’m “supposed” to change, maybe the idea wasn’t that awesome or important to begin with. Near the end of a project I write it down, probably so I have concrete evidence I’m almost done.
2. Upcoming deadlines. Self-explanatory.
2a. Order in which to write stories for upcoming deadlines, which isn’t always in the same order as the deadlines. Shortest stories first, followed by ones I have great ideas for, followed by the ones I have no idea about. Unless the ones I have no idea about are due in a week. Then they get top priority.
3. Agents to query. Also evolving. It’s interesting to note that the top five or so names haven’t changed in the past four or five years.
4. Critiques for people. I belong to two writing groups and I do a small amount of critiquing for random writing friends. I don’t like to keep people waiting so I usually get to these before my own writing.
5. Ideas for novels and stories. Always evolving.
6. Now that I’m heading up the Library at Origins, I’ve got a bunch of stuff to do for that. Another list.
And … I think that’s all I have for now. Someday I hope to add “novels to write for my contracted series” and “emails to send to my agent and editor,” but one thing at a time.